Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Colonial Cousins - Aatma - Music album review

In the lingua franca of downtown Madras, this album is not that much enough? It could have been better. But it achieves what Hari and Lezz might have intended to release this album for? to put you to sleep. You wont last more than 2 songs. I promise.

This is not worthy of ownership, but you can listen to it a few times if you have a bootlegged copy of it. Otherwise, I would ask you to play Maharajapuram Santhanam on your tape player, some English-pop on your CD player and a 3 second sample of a drum beat on repeat on your computer? at the same time... to get the same musical effect that this album produces.

1. Mata Pita
American country music fused with South Indian Classical.

Overview: Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Shaker, drums, Hariharan singing Sanskrit lyrics with a western touch, Lezz contrasting with his acoustic guitar, Terrible English Lyrics(TEL), the Irish flute at the end that reminds you of bands like Cuillin. Beautiful. The pick off the lot.

2. Sri Rama
70s Jazz Piano with a slightly heavy base, and Lezz with his really TEL, Hari in his baritone asking Lord Rama what he had for dinner... Lezz answers... you start laughing.

Overview: Piano, drums, Electric guitar, Metallic flute.. reminds you of Boureee. The piano and the soothing beat take the lead? and the rest of the song just slips by without you even noticing.

3. When did MLTR start collaborating with Lezz and Hari?
This is what Turn around makes you think. Sounds a lot like Breaking the rules to me. Lezz croons huskily and Hari as usual does some Indianising with some filmi-ishtyle oooooh's and aaaah' s. There is not a lot of experimenting in this song.

Overview: Electric guitar, some computerized beats, sounds like what the triple bongo produces, and some good recording if you are listening on your headphone.

4. I have to mention Dil Mein Tu!!!
Starts with some sitar? promising enough. Then suddenly Def Leppard starts playing? and before you have time to recover? Lezz realizes that brain rhymes with cocaine and again and starts mouthing deadly lyrics that would put a retarded 13 year old to shame.

Hari starts belting some killer alaap with a Papa was a rolling stone BG. And then Lezz comes back on with lyrics like

I will get you Ice cream,
I will make you scream
and you run to get your dictionary.

Overview: Organ (you got a dirty mind you know??!!), Lezz Lezz, some coloured girls for the ooos, the Sitar, Electric guitar, drums, Mohan Veena, The ?papa was a rolling stone? beat?

Dil mein thhooooooo heeee Tu
Can it be me and you?

Other brilliant excerpts

When I was a Baby Child
I’d always run to mama

Mom and Dad are the ones I love
I know I can’t find no woman. (really ???)

Should I Run
Should I Stay
Should I walk away?


Songs to listen to:
Mata Pita, Guiding Star
Songs to avoid:
The rest. (7 in number)


Monday, June 21, 2004

Virumandi - Movie Review

There are a few movies about which you hear a lot about quite a few months before the release of the movie. This was one movie which was overly publicized. In one of his interviews, Kamal said he made this movie for 3 kinds of audiences, and he hoped ardently that it would appeal to those audiences and make this movie a success. I watched this movie and thought seriously for 10 minutes and came up with the possible classes of people who might think this movie is appealing. So if you are one of the following genii, I would advice you to rent the tape and watch it in the comfort of your home with the recommended paraphernalia.

Type A
* You LOVE watching movies with a ’’village subject’’, whose main characters are a few Thongattan Paatis and people talking thamizh with a Coimbatore accent regardless of which part of Tamil Nadu the movie is based.
Thongattan - A heavy gold earpiece that stretches the earlobe to the shoulder level
Paatis - Old People
Coimbatore - A town in central Tamil Nadu where I presume all the ’village extras’ in Tamil movies are outsourced from.

* You enjoyed those old maudlin Tamil movies directed by Bhim Singh where Shivaji Ganesan(An immense actor.... hehe) does the role of a frisky First Year B.A. student,who wears a coat to college to hide his 42 inch waist. Later in the movie, he has financial problems either because his father gets cheated by the evil uncle or because his brother falls in love with the wrong kind of woman.. or both... and the entire story revolves around his love for his wife, brother, father, mother or his recalcitrant and evil uncle.

* You have this excessive urge to express yourself emotionally and your tearglands are always in the ’Get Set... Ready’ mode.

Required Paraphernalia:
. Large towel with excellent water absorbant and retentive capabilities - 1 Nos
. Large bucket into which you could squeeze the excess tears - 1 Nos
. Some Vethalai Sunnambu(Green leaf and lime that when chewed on becomes red) or Thattai Seedai(’Rice Flour patties deep fried in vegetable oil’ lol lol lol have you ever been to those ’Indian Restaurants’ in USA ?).
. Some Glucose/ Lime, for you might become dehydrated.

Type B
* You go to Nandanam Arts college (A college in the heart of Chennai whose students have a collective IQ of maybe -20....) in a 47A(Public Transportation that, during peak hours resembles a tamarind sack left out in Amazonian heat) and spend your most productive time of the day on the footboard or on top or the bottom of the bus.
* You ’put one O’ (A very suave way of expressing your approval) for whichever ’figure’ (go figure.... hehe) you happen to chance upon in the bus.
* You think Mookan from Ayodhya Kuppam (A fisherman colony in Chennai where fish have a longer lifespan than man), is the coolest guy on earth because he uses his veecharuva(sickle) and veeravel(spear) to eat Karuvaadu Soru. (native Tamil Nadu Non Vegetarian Dish... Ok Ok.. let me try. ’Dried Sea water fish fried in oil and made to soak for a few days in a pot also containing Pazhavarusi and water (You dont even want to know... blve me.)).
* You think most village disputes are settled the ’Mookan way’.

Required Paraphernalia
. Cigarettes.. you might need a lot of these breaks. The love scenes are only at the end of the movie.
. Some ’machis’ (friends... partners in inertia) to pass those comments about human anatomy using... human anatomy or vegetable and fruits as reference.
. Some Eeral Puttu and Vellai Paniyaram (more south Indian Munchies just to get you in the mood for the oomph) to fill the inter-cigarette-break intervals.


Type C
* You relish arguments titled ’The different types of Greek Ethicologies and their relation to the bourgeois in Central Madras’.
* You are eternally looking for the ’message’ in any movie you watch... even cartoons... :). You absolutely HAVE to know what the director is thinking in every frame...
* You think talking over the dinner table about how the artists perceptions of the death penalty is either going to seriously change the ’system’ or prove to the other eaters that you are knowledgable.
* I tell you... you will spend hours talking about the movie... even if you dont end up liking it.

Required Paraphernalia:
A Laptop.
Internet Connection.
Google Google Google.

If you are any one of the 3 above, I assure you would adore the movie. Ofcourse you could be the garden variety Kamal Fan apart from these categories who would anyway appreciate whatever tripe ourman dishes out. I dont want to argue with you. I still think he is the best India has to offer in terms of sheer variety and histrionic ability. But I just dont want to see him in a few roles. This is one of them.

OK.. last piece. I congratulate you if you have come this far. You are well and truly jobless :). Like me. As for me, I used only the Fast Forward button while watching the movie. I could not stand more than 15 minutes of this truly boring movie and I wish to God that Kamal either becomes a software engineer or starts making movies where he plays a software engineer (a form of lowlife that I happen to be a member of)... whichever pays him more. I cannot stand to see him as a yokel crying over his dead grandma. Please... I want to enjoy the movie... not lament through it !!